Getting Ready for the Festival of Quilts

Part 9: Patchwork the Northwest Territories block

Quilt blocks typically contained geometric shapes such as squares, triangles, or rectangles. In turn these blocks were than sewed into strips. Strips were than sewn into a quilt top. Almost all geometric designs use an underlying gird that make up a certain numbermaple-leaf-block of equal sized squares. Some patterns also were based of radiating lines from the centre spoke or used both squares and spokes. In addition to that, hexagonal blocks and curves could provide endless possibilities to depict something in your environment or imagination. In addition patterns could be symmetric or non symmetric in composition or be continuous patterns that can be joined end to end.


Stars that used  squares in combination with triangles are in fact found in hundreds of variations.  Below I have used a very simple 2×2  grid ( which can be 4×4, 8×8  etc ) to draft 3 simple 8 pointed star patterns. Imagine using both a radiating and grid patterns together!


While I am on the topic of stars, the Star  pattern has been used to symbolize the source of light or to Christians hope and promise. They might appear as  single motif such as the Star of  Bethlehem or Blazing Star; as  row of small patterns such as   Variable Star; or  combination of large and small such as the Star of Bethlehem with Le Moyne Star; in groups such as the Star of Pleiades’s or Touching Stars.

Northwest Territories Block

In 1870 a vast new region called the North-West Territories joined confederation.

Since my travels  mainly occurred in winter to places like Yellowknife that have amazing stars and northern light displays this territory will be the theme for my next block.

In 1980 I had my 1st of many opportunities to fly to the NWT. When I think of this place northern lights in winter  and mosquito’s the size of birds in summer comes to mind. It a place of amazing long warm summer days and some of the coldest winter temperatures I have experienced. They have some of the longest ice roads in the world that still are the only land connections to some communities especially to mines. Mining has become a big part of the northern economy. Nothing seems as romantic as receiving a polar bear diamond. So of course my next block choice is the diamond. But how to get these diamond shaped block together? Might have to stick to the blocks and triangles! It even has 8 pointed triangles to represent a diamonds cubic crystal structure with 8 corners! You might have to imagine the 8 facets on this diamond but I quite liked the Octagonal Block pattern I found from 1931 in Jenny Beyer’s Quilters Album. I think it sparkles!



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